Reina Farji

Assignment #5 Invention of NASA
The threat of the nuclear war lead to many changes and establishments of federal agencies in the American society. One of the most needed yet advanced and innovative agencies was the creation and establishment of “The National Aeronautics and Space Administration”. The cold war triggered the need to have this agency in the United States with the intended purpouse to “keep up” with the Soviet Union and maintain that power and mutual assured destruction.
In reality the space race began on July 29, 1955. After a US anouncment of their intent to launch artificial earth satellites to outer space by 1957 or 1958 as part of their contribution to the International Geophysical Year. Four days later at the sixth congress of international astronautical federation in Copenhagen, Leonid I. Sedov responded that the Soviet Union would launch a satellite as well “in the near future”. On August 30 of 1955, Korolev talked to the Soviet Academy of Sciences to create a commission with the intended purpouse to beat the United States into Earth orbit (de facto start date for the Space Race).
Two years later the Soviets found out that the United States was going to present their project in October 6th of 1957 of the “Satellite Over the Planet”, in the International Geophysical Year conference at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. Consequently, in October 4th of 1957 the Soviet Union rushed and launched Sputnik 1 beating the United States to this competition . Sputnik 1 was the first artificial earth satellite, which was visible around earth and its radio pulses were able to be detected. This lead to a panick attack to the United States and to what is to known to as the “Sputnik Crisis” and fueled “The Space Race” even more. The Soviet Union had just probed that they were capable enough to have greater technological advance and development than the United States. U.S Congress perceived the sputnik crisis as a threat to national security and technology leadership. Triggered by this “fear to the unknown” they urged President Dwight D. Eisenhower to take action and the Federal Agency “NACA” was created. NACA’s tasks were to track down any non-military activity in outer space. So the space race began. The Soviet success caused public controversy, and Eisenhower ordered the civilian rocket and satellite project, Vanguard, to be launched much sooner than originally planned.
In December 6, 1957 Project Vanguard launch attempt at Cape Canaveral in front of a live broadcast television audience (first live countdown broadcast nationally) in the United States. It was an epic failure, exploding a few seconds after launch, and it became an international joke. The media was mocking this attempt calling the United States’s trial Flopnik, Stayputnik, Kaputnik… In other countries like Britain, one of USA’s Western Cold War ally, had controversial reactions towards the situation. In one hand some celebrated the fact that the Soviets had reached space first, while others feared the destructive potential that military uses of space craft might bring. The Soviet Union was the first to get humans in outer space On April 12, 1961, the USSR launched Yuri Gagarin into orbit around the Earth on Vostok 1.
Vostok 1 orbited the Earth for 108 minutes and made its reentry over the Soviet Union, with Gagarin ejecting from the spacecraft at 7,000 meters and landing by parachute. This event was celebrated around the world as a great triumph, not just for the Soviet Union, but for all mankind. Once again embarrassing the United States. Then on May 5, 1961,Alan Shepard became the first American in space, launched on a suborbital mission Mercury-Redstone 3. Although he did not achieve orbit, unlike Gagarin he was the first person to exercise manual control over his spacecraft’s attitude and retro-rocket firing… The Space Race was still going on throughout 1961- 1969 but finally in July 16th of 1969 The Apollo 11 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Forida . On July 20 of 1969 Neil Armstrong, was the first man and American to set foot on the moon. This event determined the end of the space race and the moon race. In addition rather than to keep on competing in an ongoing set of events, by the end of the 1970s, the United States and the USSR were working together on Space Shuttles and launching science missions to outer space.
The nuclear war threat was a very aggravating period however with out that incentive of the mutual assured destruction NASA would have not been created, the world would not be as advanced in terms of outer space and new research and discoveries as it is today. Consequently due to the Nuclear war threat and the development of outer space agencies such as NASA have provided the answers to so may uncovered mysteries that throughout history were never solved.